CAIRNS – WEWAK – DARWIN
26 Days / 25 Nights

Experience some of the world’s most exotic and untouched regions as they emerge into the 21st century. This remarkable expedition will take you where other travellers have seldom visited, into the most remote corners of Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.

Throughout the expedition you will also discover the very best that nature has to offer, from the brilliantly coloured Bird of Paradise to the world’s most colourful and diverse coral reefs, and come face to face with villagers who until recently have been shielded from the outside world. Rest assured this is the most comprehensive experience ever undertaken in this fascinating region.

Can't be away for that long? Don't worry you have the option to choose from either 12 Nights Cairns to Wewak or 13 Nights Wewak to Darwin!

EARLY BIRD OFFER
Book prior to 31 October 2018 and receive 10% discount~

HIGHLIGHTS
• Learn how the Trobriand Islands became the ‘Islands of Love’
• Explore Tufi’s spectacular fjords
• Cruise the mighty Sepik River
• Discover the pristine Raja Ampat region; a nature lover’s paradise
• Take in the aromas, colours and characters of the Spice Islands

INCLUDES
• Accommodation in your selected cabin
• All meals
• House beer and wine during lunch and dinner
• 24 hour tea and coffee
• Captain's welcome and farewell drinks
• Access to islands, marine and national parks
• Guided tours on Xplorer expedition vessel, zodiacs, glass-bottom boat and kayaks
• Touring as described in the itinerary
• Services of expedition staff and lecturers including briefings and knowledge-sharing sessions
• Port taxes and government charges imposed by government authorities

ITINERARY
DAY 1 CAIRNS
Board Coral Adventurer at 7:30am for an 9:00am departure. Leave Cairns behind as we begin our voyage towards Papua New Guinea. Take the opportunity to explore your new home and meet your fellow passengers.  Enjoy the Captain’s welcome drinks at sunset before sitting down to the first of many delicious dinners.

DAY 2 AT SEA
The Coral Sea: spend the day at leisure as you get to know your travelling companions or join our Expedition Leader and Guest Lecturer in the Lounge for presentations and briefings on Papua New Guinea, ahead of our arrival into Alotau.

DAY 3 ALOTAU
Wake up to the scenery of the China Strait as we approach our first Papua New Guinea landfall – Alotau.  Enjoy traditional welcome dances prior joining the town tour of Alotau or join the WW2 tour and learn the military history of this region.

DAY 4 DOBU AND FERGUSSON ISLANDS
Join our Expedition Staff on a walk to Dei Dei Hot Springs, where the people share their mythical and spiritual tales of these hot water and mud springs. Learn of the history of the Kula Ring at Dobu Island and meet the local primary school children, who will welcome us with a traditional dance performance. Snorkel the bubbling Springs Reef.

DAY 5 TROBRIAND ISLANDS
Historically known as the ‘Islands of Love’, the Trobriands offer a glimpse of traditional culture largely unspoiled by outside influence.  In the morning visit the island of Kuiawa to witness a traditional Trobriand dance performed by the colourfully costumed locals. Visit the local market and enjoy a swim off the adjacent island beach.

DAY 6 MACLAREN HARBOUR AND TUFI FJORDS
Local guides will paddles us on traditional canoes at Maclaren Harbour to their village in the rainforest.  Be welcomed with dances, demonstrations and traditional crafts.  Discover the scenic beauty of the rarely visited Maclaren Harbour.  Over lunch soak up spectacular views as we cruise close to the towering cliffs before entering Tufi Fjord.  Enjoy a leisurely swim and snorkel over colourful fringing reefs or visit the nearby resort for a relaxing time.

DAY 7 BUNA AND SANANANDA
The Battle of Buna saw some of the fiercest fighting between American, Australian and Japanese forces during the final stages of WW2. We walk through the jungle with the local villagers and discover the fascinating history.  After lunch we visit beautiful Sanananda to visit the War Museum, which the villagers have built to honour both sides. You have the opportunity to meet the local village people and enjoy their lovely gardens.

DAY 8 FLY ISLANDS AND LABABIA
Awaken early and travel ashore for a morning of water activities at Fly Island, which has very colourful coral reefs. Enjoy snorkelling, diving or glass bottom boat tours.  We visit the picturesque village of Lababia, gateway to one of the most important conservation areas in PNG, and enjoy welcome ceremonies and local dances.  You may also paddle on local outriggers and enjoy a village walk and market.

DAY 9 DREGERHAFEN
Today we visit Dregerhafen in the Finschhafen district of Morobe, famous for Tami bowls and timber paddles.  Visit the village of Gingala for a high spirited PNG welcome.  The markets will be open and there will be a chance to walk through the village with the locals.  After lunch enjoy snorkelling, diving,  glass bottom boat tours and kayaking in the waters of the lagoon. Finish the day with drinks on the sundeck and our famous BBQ.

DAY 10 TUAM
Enjoy a presentation from our guest lecturer as we steam towards the remote island of Tuam in the Siassi group. Tuam features two well- known and successful dance groups who will perform as we wander through the village. Along the way peruse the market stalls. Enjoy a guided walk with the locals and finish the day with water activities in the crystal clear water.

DAY 11 HISTORIC MADANG
Explore Madang, which sits on the peninsula surrounded by a number of picturesque islands and is famed for it’s waterfront setting and colonial history. Discover the surrounding area on our Madang tour and after lunch visit the markets where there is the opportunity to purchase a large selection of artefacts from the region

DAY 12 SEPIK RIVER- BIEN VILLAGE, VOLCANIC MANAM ISLAND
At first light the Coral Discoverer enters into the mighty Sepik River. Our destination is the remote village of Bien where the locals are famous for their arts and crafts. A true Sepik welcome awaits us as we step ashore!  Take the opportunity to purchase unique hand carvings the Sepik region is known for. As we depart from the great Sepik River,  sail past the active volcano at Manam Island as we enjoy the Captains Farewell drinks.

DAY 13 WEWAK
Early this morning we arrive into the port town of Wewak.  Farewell guests departing this morning and welcome new friends who will be joining us for the remainder of the expedition.
 

DAY 14 JAYAPURA
Overnight we cross into West Papua waters ahead of our arrival in Jayapura, formerly known as ‘Hollandia’ during World War II and now a melting pot of sights and smells. Visit Lake Sentani, home to villagers famed for their distinctive art, and cruise on a longboat to see the stilt towns built over the tranquil lake,  Be welcomed at Asei Village by the local dancers and their accompanying traditional instruments.

DAY 15 MIOSWUNDI
Awake this morning to the peaceful Island of Mioswundi. Meet the local families in their traditional village to learn about their remote lifestyle and enjoy a refreshing swim in the tropical waters.

DAY 16 AT SEA
Spend a day at sea and join the Expedition Team in the Lounge for an  introduction to Raja Ampat. Learn about the many wonderful experiences we will undertake over the coming days exploring the archipelago of the ‘Four Kings’.

DAY 17 WAYAG
Cross the equator today into the northern hemisphere as we make our way towards stunning Wayag Island.  Experience the breathtaking views as we enter Wayag lagoon, then explore the magical maze of limestone karst ‘gumdrop’ islands aboard the Xplorer and zodiacs. After lunch enjoy water activities on the nearby beach or for the very fit climb to the top of Mt. Pindito for the panoramic view.

DAY 18 KAWE ISLAND, ALJUI BAY & PENEMU
Enjoy an early morning visit the monument to the equator at Kawe Island, if tides allow we will step ashore.  We make our way into beautiful Aljui Bay on Waigeo Island for a morning of snorkelling or diving on one of the finest reef sites in the archipelago.  Enjoy a cruise in this spectacular channel in the Zodiacs, and in the afternoon we visit Penemu in the Fam Island group. Climb the 320 steps to the lagoon lookout  for great views and afterwards snorkel in the lagoon.

DAY 19 HIDDEN BAY
Awake in remote Hidden Bay. Cruise through the scenic Wallace passage aboard the Xplorer and zodiacs.  There is ample time to kayak, enjoy glass bottom boat tours, snorkel and SCUBA dive.

DAY 20 YENSAWAI VILLAGE AND YENWAOUPNOR VILLAGE
Board Xplorer and cruise into the village of Yensawai on the Island of Batanta.  Be greeted by the local people who will guide you through their village and visit the primary school to see the children in full song.  Visit the local market on the water front and board zodiacs for a cruise through the mangroves, before enjoying a short walk to the waterfall.  Visit Gam Island and the village of Yenwaoupnor to be welcomed with cultural entertainment and sample food cooked traditionally in the underground oven.

DAY 21 YENWAOUPNOR VILLAGE AND MESEMPTA
For the fit and able there is an early 0530 start on a steep hike in search of the elusive Red Bird of Paradise hidden in the trees.  Enter through the stunning channel leading to our late afternoon anchorage and finish the day with our famous BBQ on the sundeck overlooking beautiful Mesempta.

DAY 22 MESEMPTA AND WAGMAB
Awaken at Mesempta to enjoy a visually spectacular cruise on Xplorer.  Enjoy snorkelling and glass bottom boat tours in the sheltered lagoon. Enter the Misool archipelago to visit Wagmab and snorkel or dive the magnificent coral gardens and steep reef walls. Enjoy interpretation by our guest lecturers.

DAY 23 BANDA AND SPICE ISLANDS
Today we explore the centre of the Spice Islands, where the world’s supply of nutmeg and mace has been traded for over 2000 years.  See Gunung Api volcano and Banda’s famous Kora Kora canoes in action.  At Banda town our guides will introduce us to the sights and smells of this historic area. We wander past the remnants of mansions constructed during Dutch colonialism on a town tour and visit historic buildings before visiting the markets. Refresh onboard before joining the locals for a traditional dance and music performance while enjoying a glass of champagne on top of Fort Belgica.

DAY 24 THE SPICE ISLANDS
An early morning option to snorkel or dive over the unique submerged lava flow.  For those wishing a leisurely morning, return to Banda and enjoy the traditions of a bygone era with cinnamon tea and local delicacies at the waterfront hotel before we farewell the Spice Islands and set sail towards Darwin.

DAY 25 CROSSING THE TIMOR SEA
Spend the day at leisure enjoying the on board facilities as we cross the Timor Sea and join our Expedition Team in the ship’s lounge for a recap of the expedition.  Reminisce with your new found friends at the Captain’s Farewell Drinks.

DAY 26 ARRIVE IN DARWIN
This morning at 8:00am we arrive at Darwin’s Fort Hill wharf, marking the end of our great adventure discovering New Guinea.

2019 DEPARTURE DATE
25 November

PRICES
Coral Deck from $21,940*
Promenade Deck from $23,790*
Explorer Deck from $25,790*
Bridge Deck Stateroom from $26,590*
Bridge Deck Suite from $30,690*

*Terms and conditions apply. Prices are per person twin share, cruise only and subject to availability at time of booking. Valid for sale until sold out and for departure as specified. ~Discount amount is not included in the package prices. This itinerary is an indication of the destinations you will visit and activities on offer. Throughout the expedition, we may make changes to the itinerary as necessary to maximise your expeditionary experience. Allowances may be made for seasonal variations, weather, tidal conditions and any other event that may affect the operation of the vessel. The itinerary includes the possibility of interaction with wild animals and this interaction is subject to the presence of this wildlife on the dayOffer is only available for new bookings and prices are subject to change without notice due to change in fees, taxes or surcharges. Price correct at July 2018. Further conditions apply, call your Bucket List Buddy team.